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2-Day Millets Mahotsav Organized at Bhojpur, Bihar; Food Processing Stakeholders Brought Together on a Common Platform

A two-day Millets Mahotsav was held in Bhojpur, Bihar, from February 28 to March 1, 2023. The event, which was inaugurated by Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Pashupati Kumar Paras, brought together food-processing stakeholders, with a special focus on millets.

Shivam Dwivedi
Millets, which are grown in over 130 countries, are considered traditional food for over half a billion people in Asia & Africa
Millets, which are grown in over 130 countries, are considered traditional food for over half a billion people in Asia & Africa

During his inaugural address, Pashupati Kumar Paras stated that the United Nations declared 2023 to be the International Year of Millets, due to the initiative of the Prime Minister. He went on to say that the UN declaration has put India at the forefront of championing the initiative and establishing a strong global presence for millets.

Paras discussed millet processing opportunities in Bihar, emphasizing the importance of millet and the enormous market potential for millet-based value-added products. The state is well-known for its Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, and Small Millets production. Bihar exported 21,187.60 MT Millets worth 5.92 Million US Dollars in 2021-22, with Bhojpur serving as a sourcing hub for Sorghum and Small Millet.

He praised the Ministry of Food Processing Industries' ongoing efforts to support capacity-building activities in the food processing sector, which help entrepreneurs establish or upgrade processing units in the region. He also elaborated on the various initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries to support the food processing sector. Furthermore, he emphasized the PMFME Scheme's role in empowering micro food-processing enterprises by providing financial, technical, and business support throughout the value chain.

Pashupati Kumar Paras also discussed the Government of India's efforts to boost trade across the global market through participation in events such as GULFOOD-2023, which was recently held in the UAE. The event, which drew 125 countries, attracted a large number of Indian exporters, including women entrepreneurs, start-ups, merchants, and manufacturers showcasing agricultural, dairy, pulses, and meat-based produce, with a focus on millets and their products.

The two-day event in Bhojpur, Bihar, included a variety of activities such as the exhibition and sale of millet-based products, informative sessions on millet processing, and interactive sessions between industry experts and micro food processing enterprises, SHGs, and FPOs involved in food processing. More than 1,000 people attended the event, which included micro food processing enterprises, self-help groups, farmer-producer organizations, producer cooperatives, and so on.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries as part of a series of Millets Mahotsavs held across the country in the aftermath of the United Nations General Assembly declaring 2023 the International Year of Millets. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Punjab, Kerala, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, West Bengal, and Jharkhand will host the events.

In addition to the Millets Mahotsavs, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is organizing World Food India-2023 from 3-5 November 2023 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The event will provide a unique forum for all stakeholders to interact and dialogue, including producers, food processors, equipment manufacturers, logistics players, cold chain players, technology providers, academia, start-up & innovators, food retailers, and so on. Furthermore, the event, which is expected to be the largest gathering of dignitaries, global investors, and business leaders from major international and domestic food companies, will firmly establish India on the global food landscape.

Millets, which are grown in over 130 countries, are considered traditional food for over half a billion people in Asia and Africa. Millets are significant because of their enormous potential to generate livelihoods, increase farmer income, and ensure global food and nutritional security. India is one of the world's leading millet producers, accounting for approximately 41 percent of global production. Millets have been prioritized by the Government of India (GoI) in recognition of their enormous potential, which also aligns with several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Government of India's proposal for the International Year of Millets (IYoM) 2023, spearheaded by the Prime Minister, was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The declaration has helped the Government of India to be at the forefront of commemorating IYoM.

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